Private Autopsy Rules Death Of Amanda Wienckowski A Homicide

November 22, 2011 Updated Nov 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

November 22, 2011 Updated Nov 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM EDT

BUFFALO N.Y. (WKBW) -- There's a new cause of death for Amanda Wienckowski. A second autopsy report requested by her family shows the 20-year old was strangled. Erie County officials say she died of a drug overdose, after her body was found in a garbage tote in Buffalo back in 2009.

"Cause of death...manual strangulation, associated with blunt force injuries. Manor of death...homicide," Wienckowski family attorney Steven Cohen reads from the autopsy report. The long awaited report from forensic pathologist Doctor Silvia Comparini seems to contradict the 2009 autopsy done by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office.

"Doctor Comparini finds...manual strangulation with significant neck compression deep to the major right and left neck vessels...deep to the carotid artery and jugular veins...led to unconsciousness in a matter of seconds and was lethal in a matter of a few minutes," Cohen added.

Twenty year old Amanda Wienckowski's nude, frozen body was found in a garbage tote that had been placed behind a Buffalo church, near where she was last seen alive. Wienckowski's family paid to have Amanda's body shipped to California for a second autopsy, after medical examiners here, ruled her death was caused by an accidental drug overdose. It took a court order to get photos and medical evidence released to the west coast pathologist.

"I want to thank everyone for supporting me and my family through this...especially to Steve, because if it wasn't for probably him, we wouldn't have been able to get this far," explained Carolee Wienckowski, Amanda's sister. Wienckowski's family now wants to see the case investigated as a homicide.

"The honorable thing , would be for them to say is, here is some additional evidence, let's take it upon ourselves to reexamine this case," Cohen said. A copy of this new autopsy report has been turned over to the Erie County Medical Examiners Office for their review.